Hero apps for Windows Phone 8
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The rise of Windows Phone 8: New hero apps breathe life (and legitimacy) into Microsoft’s mobile OS

App counts don’t matter but so-called “flagship apps” do. Ever since Windows Phone 7.x came out nearly three years ago, the “break moment” has been anxiously anticipated. That’s the instant where things click with consumers and the phones become an accepted, viable option for people to consider when shopping—the third way, if you will.

There have been false alarms in the past: Windows Phone 7.5 “Mango”, Nokia’s Lumia 900 (with AT&T’s “Hero” status) and then finally Windows Phone 8 and the Lumia 920.

Every one of those turning points it felt as if Windows Phone would finally catch on and go mainstream, but alas it never happened. Granted, with the Windows Phone 8/Lumia 920 combo, Microsoft and company had their best opportunity. But even then, things have been slower than expected despite the award winning OS and hardware.

Now in May 2013, I think Windows Phone is finally reaching critical mass. Six months after it was introduced, Windows Phone 8 is growing faster and more popular than ever before. We’re seeing numerous high profile apps come to the platform, including an authentic YouTube client, Pandora, Hulu Plus, Tumbr, NBC News, Star TrekGoComics, HSN and overhauled apps like OpenTable, Facebook, Viber and Foursquare.

And don’t get me started on Instagram.

Not only are these new experiences, they’re solid, quality apps that set the bar in design. There’s little disagreement that the Pandora app for Windows Phone is one of the nicest experiences on any platform.

More and more we’re seeing high profile games based on the Unity engine arriving in a timely manner and developers committing to the platform (just yesterday Digitally Imported jumped on board). It’s an exciting time both for developers and longtime users of Windows Phone who finally feel like they’re getting the respect they deserve.

 

Getting the message out

Combined with all of the new app momentum, we’re also seeing an even more aggressive advertising push from Microsoft, culminating in the cheeky “Wedding” commercial directed by Roman Coppola. That ad, which has garnered a massive 4.5 million views in just over a week on YouTube alone, nearly doubling the Grant Hill ad. And that ad is now in regular rotation on TV, playing on TBS and other channels on a fairly regular basis.

For all intents and purposes, it has gone viral. Why? Because it’s hilarious and is something to talk about, despite all the naysayers who suggested that Microsoft missed the point with the ad.

In addition, we’re seeing Windows Phone Challenge commercials playing before packed theaters for Iron Man 3 and other blockbuster films, raising even more awareness.

And this is just the warm up.

 

The Next Stage

1080P
1080P display for Windows Phone 8?

What’s really fascinating about all of this is Microsoft is just getting started.

Next week in London, Nokia is expected to reveal their aluminum-based Lumia ‘Catwalk’ design—an updated Lumia 920 but with a thinner, lighter body. Verizon is on the cusp of releasing the Nokia Lumia 928—their first “hero” Nokia phone that looks to even surpass the Lumia 920 due to it being thinner, lighter and featuring a Xenon flash. T-Mobile is just starting to roll out the Lumia 521, going for a remarkable $130 off contract.

Then in June, Microsoft is holding their BUILD conference in California where they are expected to reveal Windows 8 and Windows Phone “Blue” projects aka the next milestone for both operating systems. In between those releases, Windows Phone users will get OS updates including GDR2 and GDR3, adding new functions including FM radio, 1080P support and more to their current and future hardware.

Nokia Catwalk
Nokia's "Catwalk" 

Come this fall we can expect Nokia to finally show off their ‘EOS’ 41MP Windows Phone, a device expected to launch here in the US on AT&T, not to mention Sprint finally getting on board with two new devices.

It’s an unrelenting juggernaut that is in full motion.

Make no mistake, these aren’t just some awesome apps we’re getting on Windows Phone, it’s the moment that Microsoft’s OS, in conjunction with Nokia and HTC, begins to go mainstream.

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Comments

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dinod says:

We can hope. 3%!!!

rodneyej says:

THANK NOKIA!.... WE SHOULD SERIOUSLY THANK NOKIA!

Eirenarch says:

I will thank them with my money when the time comes to change my phone.

Matt Mizenko says:

You're welcome. We love you too.

rodneyej says:

Nokia! Nokia! Nokia!.. I sure wish I could have the same enthusiasm for the others..

ymcpa says:

The others have to give us something to be enthusiastic about. A bigger screen is not enough and lackluster support doesn't help.

rodneyej says:

I'm hoping that they see Nokias success with WP, and react to it. But, while Samsung's focus on the GS4, and HTC now doing good with the One, I'm not sure if WP even matters to them.. MS would be better off making friends with Sony at this point.. I've always thought that Sony would be a good partner for WP.. To me Sony is just synonymous with quality, and I think nobody really wants a Sony Android phone right now.. All of the manufacturers who can't compete in the Android market should be smart enough to focus on WP while there's still a chance to compete with Nokia..

catalystgod says:

WP's integration with XBox is going to be a problem for Sony. Otherwise, I agree with your assessment that getting more quality oriented builders under the belt would help WP. Too bad Motorola was grabbed by Google.

rodneyej says:

Yeah, I always thought Motorola would've been good for WP!!

ltjordan24 says:

   Microsoft should have courted more OEMs when releasing WP8, companies like Kyocera, Sony, LG, etc., that haven't had a hit device in years. They're all leaving money on the table. With Nokia going all in on Windows Phone, they have no choice but to come out with innovative hardware that pushes the boundaries to make themselves competitive again. Samsung is the only OEM making money off of Android so WP8 is just an afterthought to them. They put a couple of devices on recycled hardware just in case the OS catches on but have nothing to lose if it doesn't. HTC has been with Microsoft from the beginning but when Android came out, they just started recycling hardware too until recently with the 8X. If a few more OEMs were to actually put out a few original devices running WP8, they might be able to find a market. It's not like they have anything to lose. And now is the perfect opportunity, Blackberry isn't going to make the comeback that everyone had hoped for and Apple has already peaked. But only time will tell.
 
 

flubatastic says:

I think it would be interesting to know what restrictions microsoft has put on manufacturers, Samsung i am sure would like to make WP8 thier own as they have with android, but i doubt Microsoft would let them just do whatever they want, they peobably want the basic structure to remain the same so all that mnaufacturers can really do is include apps that are built in and work together with the layout Microsoft has givent them to work with. I doubt Samsung would be able to add wireless charging and NFC withought Microsofts go agead and done in a way microsoft  controlls, probably with microdsofts own coding involved.

bluemooberry says:

I agree.  nokia has been fantastic with their support for the wp platform thus far and I am immensely glad for it.  

flubatastic says:

you mean 5.6% and rising fast
 

Windows phone users should be excited it feels like big things are coming. I hope that picture with the many live tiles on it becomes true but because it looks nice.

Yes, looks like we can add another row of live tiles.
 

Tegument says:

the odd thing about that pic is the htc clock/weather tile on a nokia device :-/

Neal58 says:

It looks like WeatherFlow, not the HTC app

Tegument says:

no...its the htc tile.

Unless the HTC app and Weatheflow are identical, that is definitely Weatherflow.  I have it on my phone and it is exactly identical to the picture above.  

Tegument says:

guys...the first large tile on the left side 3rd row down w/ the large clock and weather in the corner is the htc tile......

Tegument says:

did u think i meant the one further down on right side?

Yes.  Slight miscommunication there.  When I read 'weather tile" I immediately looked at the weather tile.  

I hope that "Catwalk" picture's not legitimate. It looks pretty terrible, in my opinion.

Prototype is prototype, not final. Same drill everytime images leak of new phones.

Sean D. says:

Amazing how much this is lost on people, huh?
 

MediaCastleX says:

Your opinion is worth about 2% =)

rodneyej says:

I know its prototype but doesn't it look EXACTLY like some type of Huawei device?

rhodri22 says:

Agreed. I looked at the rear render first and thought 'W2?"

muitosabao says:

I can guarantee you 100% that it is legit. My brother works at vodafone and he's currently testing one. Despite looking weird on the photos, he says it feels amazing. Light and thin (thinner than the iphone 4, but laying on a table same width because of the camera bump.) it comes with the double tap to unlock, and always on clock.

rodneyej says:

I hope your brothers on LSD.. Lol!

LynnDay says:

Really? So he is not bothered with its big ugly camera on the back? 
Please tell me it looks much better than the weird photo.

muitosabao says:

He's using the Lumia design (test units) since the N9 (in reality, he was the one making change from the iphone to the lumia 800 back then when I first saw his N9 he was testing long time ago), then the 800, 900, 920. Now this one, he tells me it's the first one he really likes. Again, might be a matter  of opinion, but he says it feels super premium. Light and thin. He gets to test them all, and he's using the galaxy S4 too, and despite it's screen which he says is amazing, he says he prefers the new Lumia (the aluminum on). Also because it has the tap to awake feature which he loved back from the N9. 
Again, might be a matter of opinion, but it IS the real deal.

LynnDay says:

Can't agree more. The front looks fantastic...The problem is with its back...Eww.
I don't think the big ugly camera on the back is compatible with Nokia's designing style.

kidjenius says:

great article Dan!

al.cantara says:

+2,013.. Excellent article. Love it!!

rodneyej says:

I've been waiting for this article!! 2013 is the year WP was recognized.. 2014 will be it's first super bowl!!

rodneyej says:

And, I kind of disagree with the Article about the 920 not being the breaking point.. I think the Lumia 920 Is the reason why we are where we are.. It has been covered in the media for months, and as new Android devices continue to be released they still use the 920 as a comparison tool.. The 920 is Gesus!!

Yeah, but the 920 has been out for six months already...it's a combo of things. What I'm saying is the Lumia 920 by itself was not the breaking point, but a combination of it seeping into people's mindset, seeing it out in the wild, new apps, advertising, etc.

rodneyej says:

Oh, Ok.. Its not fair to say it did it all by itself.. Fair enough!!

rebel_yell says:

The 920 is the tip of the spear. When it came to the heavy lifting, all of those other aspects took a step back and watched as the 920 opened another can of spinach. When I think WP, I think of Nokia 920. Without it, no amount of advertising or apps would matter. I can't recall ever seeing a single device so fervently capture the imagination of so many people. Bounce tests, drop tests, nail tests, sound tests, camera tests, movie tests. Has ANY phone ever been so scrutinized with so many people holding their breath in hopes that it will either fail miserably or succeed beyond all expectations? In my lowly opinion, the 920 has set the golden standard for quality, innovation, and invention for years to come. Without the 920, WP might be languishing in relative obscurity. I think people see the phone before they see the OS. Nokia didn't need to try very hard to market this phone. YouTube did that for them. I believe that the 920 slowly, but inexorably has always been the breaking point.

rodneyej says:

Wow! The 920 is great! And, you just made this old dog cry.. I could hear the national anthem, and the sounds of fighter jets passing over, as you spoke! And yes, I had my hand on my chest, because my 920 was in my shirt pocket, while you took me to the promise land... They should exchange the bible in court houses with a red, white, and blue Nokia Lumia 920. That way we can all swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about how the 920 has set the bar so, so high.. Amen brother. I couldn't have put it better myself...... Now this is loyalty!

rebel_yell says:

Haaaaa! I deserved that. If that was flattery, then bring me sarcasm. If that was sarcasm, then bring me flattery.

pranav rai says:

 
That made me smile looking at the l920 on my table.
Yep, 920 was the true Hero device. It divided the people like nothing else before (the 808 was one other device but you could see people complain about symbian and it was a genuine complaint). Some loved it, some hated it, but nobody could ignore it. It was THE trailblazer, that killed the 8X without breaking a sweat. 
 
The reason why so many people are intrigued by WP8 is because of the 920. It might not have been a great commercial success, but it was the tipping point, when you just couldnt ignore WP8 anymore, a critical success. Rise, Sir L920, thee shall not be forgotten. Even the sands of time shall bow before thee.

uopjo6 says:

I'm glad I own the "original 920" that kick started it all, nonetheless. Every new phone that's coming out this season is a slight upgrade of the 920, which is fair enough and I'm glad it's expanding. But I don't think I can put this 920 down.

dfmos says:

This definitely feels like Microsoft's Year, Windows 8.1 Blue update for all Devices, New Xbox.
Its gonna be a rollercoaster!

rodneyej says:

Most definitely!!!

Aggemam says:

Good read. Thanks. :-)

mans550 says:

Its legit, but looks much better in real life

Viipottaja says:

and you would know how? :)

Sam Sabri says:

Something, something Instagram...    :P

In all seriousness, it's finally happening and it's awesome. I've been noticing more people taking an interest in my Lumia 920 and Surface the past few weeks. Asking questions and being genuinely interested. Another thing, people at the office are hearing rumors of the 928 and keep asking when it's coming out.

The next few months are going to be incredibly exciting.  

Zeeshan360 says:

It is rumored that Nokia shipped more Lumia phones in 4 months of 2013 than it did in 12 months of 2012 in India .. :D

ryanv12 says:

Unfortunately San Francisco is very much not on board with MS. When I use my surface I've gotten comments like "how's that going for you?" and "well, there's one person at least". 
However, my lumia 920 has gotten some more positive attention. They usually remark at how good the photos are. I posted this photo to Facebook and they were asking what kind of DSLR I was using :D 
https://skydrive.live.com/#cid=26F9C63855D63960&id=26F9C63855D63960%2125886

orejas666 says:

THAT FOOD!!! 
 

oakfan52 says:

When people do that to me I just turn it around and move my mouse with the track pad. That suauly shuts up the Apple fans in my room. They're all trying to use to connect to a VDI or work in an office app. Its so much easier with real mouse interface.

Dare2Blink says:

Lol if an ipad lover ever did that to me (I anxiously await that moment) I would just hand then a flashdrive and ask them "please copy me that picture/file/video to my flashdrive please, oh wait, you don't have one do you, my bad", or ask them to use an office program, or ask them to open a flash website, etc etc. There are so many ways to show the surface's superiority its not even funny.

Josh Harman says:

Seriously, who cares what some uppity scroogled iSheep in SF think?

vlad0 says:

The whole SF Bay Area is pretty much Apple land.. and a bit of google. Very few people around here don't dislike or have some sort of negative attitude towards MS

blackprince says:

What I have noticed is people asking me, "How do you like your Windows Phone?" That was different from last year when people were like "What sort of phone is that? An Android?"

Zeeshan360 says:

All we want now is Subway surfers and Temple Run 2 .. Half a dozen of my friends are ready to leave their Androids
Frankly speaking don't care about Instagram

lin0x says:

No one i know uses instagram too... Subway surfers and Jetpack joyride is all i need...

muitosabao says:

Lol, if no one you know doesn't use it, then it can only mean that it's useless to the platform!  Dude, come on.

Josh Harman says:

No, it means its useless to him... and me. Probably just tired of hearing about it all the time like its the end all.

Tjalsma says:

I think you are right, Dan.  While I've attempted to be a part of the "optimistic WP crowd" I couldn't help but feel just a hint of dread here and there since I first purchased a Focus back when it was released.
However, more and more people I know are picking up Windows Phones and Nokia's tech is finally starting to get the attention it deserves.  It truly is, in my opinion, a great time to be a Windows Phone owner now.  Just in my family, I have a Windows Phone along with my wife, brother, and sister.  I am also thinking about getting a 521 when those are readily available for my kids.

Ha.  Awesome article.  I think it gave me an eyegasm.

Ultimateone says:

It's been real exciting being a WP8 phone user, I love this stuff.

jlynnm350z says:

Ferrari owner. . . . . . . . I wish

joe_easton says:

There is a thing called the Tipping Point.  It is the moment when things just happen.  All the work and effort come to a point when it pays off.  Dedicated fans should be rejoicing!  I am seeing more and more WP phones in the wild and people are recognizing that I have a WP.  It's a good year for WP!
 

MrDaedra says:

Unfortunately, I've seen only one HTC 8s in a wild. Hope it's only the beginning.

joe_easton says:

Where are you?  I have seen a few 8S because we have a regional carrier (Cincinnati Bell) that picked it up.  Otherwise, I have seen quite a few 8X and 920's.  Not many 810 or 822's.  I still see a few WP7 devices too.

cybermoose89 says:

Love this ad XD!

raul_junior says:

Just today on my bus coming back from school, everyone was talking about the new WP wedding commercial, if WP goes mainstream soon I will be glad I was one of the first to use it since 7.5

im glad i was on the WP *BETA* zune HD (which i still use) :D

glassadam says:

Haha me too! I love my Zune HD even if the software is starting to get a bit janky. (badly needs an update, along with the Zune desktop software. Too bad it'll never happen.)

jsnod25 says:

LOL been using it since 6.1 and a few times before that even...

diplomat696 says:

Lol yeah I had an old Samsung on win mo 5 I think it was then upgraded to 6 then Gen 1 focus now a 920. Love the ride we've been on the last 3 years and can't wait for the next part to take off.

When is a legit IRC client coming??!!

raul_junior says:

I honestly don't know what IRC is so sorry I don't know

mister2d says:

You could have googled that son.

Josh Harman says:

You of course mean Bing... Right?

elvisgp says:

YES! You listen to Rise Against! They are my favorite band. Endgame is an awesome album too, although The Sufferer and the Witness is their best album. I can't wait until their next album. What's your favorite album/song by them, Dan?
Ps. It doesn't matter if I'm an android user commenting in a windows phone site. 

I love Rise Against. Tim McIlrath has one of my favorite voices.

lpforthewin says:

Such a great band!

tositem says:

Still waiting for social media app called Path :(

JPDVM2014 says:

Isn't that the one with the privacy issues, and spam calls/texts? /troll

dj0502 says:

I'm waiting for that one too. There was an interview before that it is coming, but it's still not available up to now.
It could have been mitigated if there is a web version, however, since there is none, for me that's the only one missing. (except for candy crush, too).
I can't ask some friends to switch due to Path.

Maybe I am biased as a Verizon customer but it feels like this is build up to a flagship phone finally launching on a huge carrier. If people are going to switch they need these "hero" apps and with the way Verizon is advertising the phone before it even launches it feels like they were pushing for developers to get these out in time for the 928 launch.
Of course it is probably just a coincidence.

I'm with you. I've been wondering if the 928's release was even delayed until some of these apps came out.

No matter what, this is a really exciting time!

Mooncow27 says:

Should I just get the 920, catwalk or the 41 mp phone? If it is fall for the 41 mp phone I can wait. My HTC Surround is outdated but I will miss the handy kickstand on it.

fwaits says:

If you are on AT&T, the 920 won't do you wrong.  The next big AT&T phone will likely be the EOS in Oct/Nov with the 41MP Pureview (Or similar).  If you can wait that long, then go for it, otherwise you won't go wrong with the 920, it's solid and will be a great phone for quite a while.

Shane says:

Thanks Dan! Basically answered my tweet!

Funny you post this just this Morning on my train ride to work I saw 3 Nokia WP8's.  It's the first time I've seen WP's outside my own.  I always tend to look around me and see what people are using.  Good sign.  
I swear a year ago everyone had a iphone now it's a Samsung.  Just goes to show you how fast things change.  I'm targeting 2014 is the year MS explodes with Phones and Tabs.  
 

ditto man, i always used to see iphones, now everyone is with the galaxy series. whenever i spot a windows phone, i sit there and smile lol

Lx23 says:

Super fanboy

Nah, just someone who's bored of seeing the same old phones everyday :)

flubatastic says:

I think a fanboy is someone who adores their phone and says everythign else is crap,I think WP8 users are just happy to have somethign different that works for them and have probabaly used iphones and android phones and want somethign different. Not saying that wp8 is bad, it is fast and super easy to use and not complicated in any way.In fact wp8 runs faster on 512mb than i have seen some phones run on 1gb of ram.

cam45fblax says:

+1 always love seeing other WP users

erzhik says:

When WP gets some significant market share, would be nice to say "I was there since the beginning".

jeffgeno says:

In just the last couple of weeks people have started recognizing my Lumia 920 and asking, "Is that the Nokia Windows Phone?"  I've had it since launch day and it's just been recently that people have been asking.  The new ads must be making a difference in product recognition, at least.  Let's see if it actually translates to sales here in America, where almost everyone is an Apple/Samsung brand slave.

These apps are certainly gorgeous on my ATIV S. I've always believed in quality over quantity. I think Microsoft should pursue "top ranking" apps.

Sean D. says:

Say wha..? That's pretty much what they are doing...

squire777 says:

There should be Tapatalk sometime in the future as well

YES, THIS!  WTF!

Mooncow27 says:

How about giving away a 521 with each Xbox sale?

j3reun says:

That's not such a bad idea, but I don't think MS is that desperate;)
My guess is that the 520/521 will do an amazing job itself!

Wow what an idea for the next box or whats the new rumur xbox infinty?? a cheap wp8 handset with each unit sold whould get millions onboard in no time with little cost.

Lx23 says:

That's a good idea but not for launch. I think the next Xbox will hold its own for the first couple of years. Maybe later on in the product life cycle when sales slow down.

typhon62_1 says:

I don't use my 920 for FB, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or games.  I use it as a phone, texting, email, and browsing.  WP8 does all of that very well out of the box.  I just wish I could click on a link that points to a pdf in IE and actually have it open the pdf file.  Would also like to attach any file type I want in a email.
I know this is more OS issue than not, but I hope Blue gets around to fixing some of this.  Stinks having to borrow a coworkers iPhone or Android to view a friggn pdf on a website...
 
All of this is great news though and I hope this momentum continues with new features & fixes!
I love my 920 and wouldn't swap it for anything else out there!

What? I have a 920 and I can open PDF's on my phone from websites. Do it all the time.

PBLNS says:

Same here :s... I open PDF files all the time with no problem at all.... all I need is a file manager... NOW! heheh

rebel_yell says:

Remember the first iPhone? People were screaming from the rafters because it couldn't do a simple copy/paste. Patience my son. WP8 is still in diapers.

mister2d says:

Original iPhone users were screaming more for MMS capability. I was one of them. I even remember Apple's response...It was that the iPhone's performance wasn't good enough. Lol. My POS Razr did sms/mms.

So glad I stopped feeding on the crap Apple shoveled.

jsnod25 says:

Yes please get the damn PDF app and stop embarrassing the WP community... This has been possible to do since 7.0, then 7.5, then 7.8 and now 8.0... No need to hope for it to work in 8.1, hell I think I could open PDFs on 6.1 and 6.5 too... Have you even launched the app store to see what kind of productivity apps are out there for the business world? Could blow your mind!!! I don't use the phone for social sites either, but as a work phone, there are alot of apps you could use to improve your user experience.

typhon62_1 says:

I do have the pdf app.  Try opening this link with IE in WP8:
http://www.nxp.com/documents/data_sheet/LPC2468.pdf
The PDF app fires up and I get a "tap to open" and then it goes right to "can"t locate file" error.
I've been to Microsoft with this and have gotten no where.  Other people in the microsoft tech forums are complaining about this too.  I was basically told Adobe should have a pdf reader any time for 8.0 and that was it.  Heck even the MS employee's at the MS store in Oakbrook IL couldn't get it to work.
I know my way around tech, just saying...

JPDVM2014 says:

Works fine for me, but I'm on 7.8 so that prob makes a difference.

kwambe5 says:

I have to say I just tried your link and it opened just fine for me as well. On a 920.

Josh Harman says:

Hmm.. I don't know what to tell you, but it worked fine for me. Opened right up... You got a unique issue.

Do you have the right PDF app? I've seen some knock offs in the store.

DJCBS says:

Yes, WP is gaining more "fans" as people move from older devices or Blackberry. But it still can't attract iOS and Android users.
And I don't think "Hulu" and "Pandora" are major Apps for the platform. They are for the US, but, again, this may come as a surprise, there's World beyond the USA. So I still wait to see that movement worldwide before thinking that the existence of some US only Apps is enough to say the OS is definitely the 3rd way.

erzhik says:

WP is not struggling anywhere except US. So in order to get market share here, it needs these apps.

DJCBS says:

Oh, I don't deny those Apps are important for the US market. I just question that their importance can be extrapolated to judge the global position of the OS.

rebel_yell says:

I don't think anyone is saying that WP8 has made it's mark on any tote board. You don't get anywhere until you get noticed. First, get your foot in the door. Second, kick it in.

Tips_y says:

Funny but WP8/7 is growing faster elsewhere compared to the U.S. sans those apps. And speaking of Android users, I was one of them since the Froyo days. I tried the HTC Radar in December of 2011 and never left WP, at a time when Android was beginning to surpass iOS.
 
EDIT: Actually my first Android was an Eclair so I started using it even before  Froyo.

Josh Harman says:

A world beyond the US?

Oh, you must mean one those places we bomb, they don't use smartphones anyway.

NinjaX says:

Lol! typical redneck

Elton Jothi says:

Does the 920 support 1080p if wp os recieves an update to support 1080p???

No, need new hardware.

Hi Daniel, would it be possible for us to get a full video review of the new YouTube and Foursquare app? Would love to see the improvements made to these apps.

your not going to notice 1080p over 720p on a screen the size of a 920 or smaller seriously its not needed.

dj0502 says:

I agree.  I once checked an Xperia Z in a sony store, but I could not really see the difference between the PPI. Though I might need more time though.
Although, when talking about phablets, I think that's a different case.

danielgray says:

Hope catwalk comes soon, Nokia refunding my money after 3 Lumia 920s. So need a new phone.

chad08er says:

Had a Kin,DVP now a 920. love how far Windows Phone has come over the years,glad I stuck with them:)

Josh Harman says:

Sorry to hear that you were the other sucker that had a KIN.I hated that phone... I called it my mentally challenged smartphone.

chad08er says:

Yeap, wish I would have never bought the Kin,lessons learned on that one;)

mikewp says:

We are getting there.. just not yet. We'll be there when we aren't a 1 year second thought with businesses building apps for which there is no web-site equivalent. Sirius XM and Viper comes to my mind as personal quibbles (although I understand the Viper app is close).
I'm patient with the plan of attack I'm seeing thus far. Things this big take time. I'm hoping that critical mass is hit by this time next year. 4 quarters of 25%+ growth should do it.
I'm not a developer, but hopefully Microsoft is doing the right things to make developing for the platform a rewarding experience and is giving plenty of support

flubatastic says:

If they can hit around 20% by the end of 2013 i think they will win over all those developers that are sitting on the fence.

swizzlerz says:

I took a holiday this last week. The lady had a focus updated to 7.5. She didn't know how to move tiles, add tiles, create groups, airplane mode. I spent most the flight teaching her features on her phone. The next day I ran into a think was an LG. At this point I was to drunk to teach but made the guy feel like a million bux for being smarter then all the others out there for purchasing a windows phone. Buy someone a shot for having a WP, best $5 investment after I've spent this much on this phone...

atvedge says:

I had been able to convince 2 of my friends in the last year or so to get a WP device (Radar & 822). Just this weekend, I found out that another friend bought an 8x a few weeks ago. All of them came over from Android and none of them want/need an iPhone. Most of my current workers are apple fans so I'm constantly showing them how much better my non-flagship 822 is (sans camera of course). Its only going to get better!

activision even made their Call Of Duty Elite app  for WP8 :D

When Samsung will actively market with advertising, their own WP devices, then the whole WP will succeed. Clearly, Nokia with the 920 and their lower cost devices are the driving force behind WP. Microsoft does well with their advertising, but they will have to tailor the advertising to each markets brand perception and purchasing power. A Bollywood version of the wedding advertising for India, could succeed, but might not be about the iPhone and Samsung. In Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Nokia is loved for their simple mobile phones but a low end smartphone brand, here again the advertising needs to be tailored to the market. In some markets, bashing Samsung is a non starter, in other markets HTC is unknown... Clearly, Apple and Samsung have become huge brands with many loyal followers for their products, but with varying local market shares and product perceptions. To this Nokia is no exception, Nokia is viewed as a supplier of inexpensive (cheap) phones in many parts of the world, which makes selling high end devices that are the most profitable, near impossible in some markets.

gtief says:

Let us buy nokia stock!

badMojo69 says:

Still no comic book reader or xbox video, so it's dead to me
But I still have it just in case.  I'm going to do the phablit thing for work and myabe I'll use the 920 on the weekends.

JPDVM2014 says:

Check out Comic Time...

blasher4 says:

I'm excited as a WP8 user that things are picking up a little. Over time, these devices will surpass iPhones. This is a fresh new feel and look that eventually a lot of ppl will convert over too. iOS will begin to seem boring as everyone and their grandmas now have one. It is in our human nature to get bored of certain things and to try others.

cannon#WP says:

Now imagine if Samsung released an ATIV S2 & ATIV Note then pushed it as hard as it does the Galaxy brand. WP8 would be able to reach 5% to 7% (and maybe even 10%) in no time.
 
Nokia alone is not going to do it, especially when you have WP users like myself who don't want one, even with all the tech in it. MS is going to need Samsung and to a much lesser extent, a more serious HTC commitment, if they really want to succeed.
 
Hell, at this point, I really believe they need to release that Surface phone and market it as hard as the tablet. It would spark a firestorm. Samsung & HTC vs Apple is interesting, Microsoft vs Apple head to head is an event.

rmichael75 says:

you realize that nokia was shipping most of the mobile phones?. WP has nokia and that is more than sufficient to go top. WE dont need Samsung. Having said that. Once WP is coming up Samsung would like to get a piece of the pie and come back.. anyway I will buy only Nokia.. as long as it is around.

rebel_yell says:

Yeah, I agree. Ask yourself why Verizon has taken what appears to be more than a passing fancy with WP8. Follow the money.

neo158 says:

It's not all about Nokia though, if you want Windows Phone to fail then the one OEM strategy is great, but that will turn away customers who don't want a Nokia WP. Believe it or not WP needs Samsung more than Samsung needs WP. So what, Samsung make Android devices as well, at least they haven't put all their eggs in one basket like Nokia has.

scottae316 says:

Your right, no single manufactuer can do it... Look at iOS it has Apple and ... Then look at BB10 it has Blackberry and ... In all seriousness, WP will probably surrive if it has only Nokia, but I do agree that it would help WP if there was more than one manufactuer. Nokia could continue with the Lumia design, Samsung could use it Galaxy design, and HTC if it were smart would use its new One series instead of a Nokia type look a like. 
I think Samsung is keeping its options open and being smart with both Windows Phone and Android.

Tips_y says:

Going back to the "unserious" part of your comment, I would like to add that Samsung is almost single-handedly pushing Android to the top of the food chain. I believe that it takes only one OEM with lots of advertising to push a GOOD OS to the top.

neo158 says:

I somewhat agree with what you say but Android has companies other than Samsung creating devices for it and that's what has pushed Android, not just one OEM on their own. As I said before WP needs OEMs more than the OEMs need WP, the more manufacturers creating Windows Phones the better I say.

Sony haven't said no to WP, they are watching the market and will jump in when they feel the time is right, LG have decided Windows Phone isn't for them and considering the support they gave to their devices, WP is better of without them and Dell scrapped the troubled Venue Pro not long after release, so that's why WP needs the OEMs it has to stick with the platform.

semerdar34 says:

I do wish they would stop showing the Samsung phones...

xconomicron says:

Thanks Dan for this awesome editorial! 

Definitely brings light to the end of the tunnel...and definitely raises the hopes for fans, especially after reading about how Nokia's shareholders are getting frustrated over Elop's decisions today. 

djmikebrady says:

So I was browsing around T-Mobile's website today, and while they list Windows Phones as an option for SmartPhones, the picture is of an Android phone, and when you select it, there's nothing there.  The checkbox on the left side for OS has a Windows Phone option, but it's greyed out and can't be selected.
 
When is the 521 supposed to be dropping??

ej1024 says:

Release more tv ads like the current one

marantaz says:

I can see Daniel waving goodbye...to Android domination! Preach it brother!
I too have been awed by the explosion of app goodness coming to WP! And with what MS & Nokia have coming this year, I almost want to walk around with a smug attitude like those apple/android geeks. Hey! I think I will!
"That's right, check it out! Windows Phone! Uh huh! I'm smug cuz I got one and you...phtttttt! So sad!"
yeah I don't do smug well....

Ignotum666 says:

Eternal love for Nokia and future Lumia

deloa84 says:

Sweet article. With Nokia and HTC playing a prominent role in WP8 and some by Samsung I can't wait to see more WP8 devices and of course apps.

redeyss says:

I must've missed something, I thought 41mp EOS was going to be summer launch?

pr0phecy says:

As much as I live, eat and breathe Microsoft and Nokia, I don't see WP going very much mainstream here in the Netherlands. Here, they don't advertise WP or the phones very much. Actually not at all. Which is a real shame. Only phones you get commercial-spammed over here are Samsung and HTC phones. IPhone is constantly being shown in other not apple official commercials.

Nakazul says:

Same in Sweden. My local store have no WP's and sell non, except if you order them.

pr0phecy says:

Wow they sell none? That's even worse than here. I sympathize with ya brother...

Yeah, this feels like getting over the hump. Great days ahead!

Nakazul says:

I wish this positive trend could happen in Sweden. :'(

hacer619 says:

This day was appy, to me at least , my university had an engineering day today, and guess what a group of computer science students have made a university app on 3 platforms:
-iOS
-android
-blackberry<=(just kidding) , WINDOWS PHONE 7 & 8
and it was designed based on windows phone tiles
+100 to the group

spaulagain says:

I hope Catwalk turns out to be awesome so i can sell my 920 as soon as it comes out and get it. I like the 920 but it's got some issues.

These hero apps need to be constantly updated otherwise it's pointless. We've seen official apps released before only never to be updated for years (Twitter, WhatsApp, Viber etc etc). Let's hope that changes.

jhoff80 says:

I hope you're right, but I'm not so convinced yet.  When we start getting major new apps the same day that they're released on other platforms... when we start getting major app updates that other platforms get (two examples off the top of my head, unfortunately both concerning Rovio at the moment:  things like the "Hoth" levels that came out on iOS / Android months ago, or things like their newly announced and hugely important cross-platform syncing support) then I might start to believe you.

Higgs Boson says:

Its been a slow often laborious but mostly fun ride. Not counting various ce/win mobile PDAs and phones, my "fandom" probably began around the holidays if 06 when I picked up one of the first doo doo brown 30gig Zune bricks. People dogged me but I loved it. Then an 80 gig, and finally a 32gig Zune HD that I love and still use daily. I bought a Samsung focus at the very beginning, (Nov. 2010) then a Focus S, followed by a Lumia 900 and currently a 920. I dont deny for a second that the iPhones and galaxies are great phones, but I wouldn't switch for anything. This weekend my Ativ 500t smart PC tablet arrived and the experience is so cool when supplemented by having a windows phone. As happy as I am now, I'm really excited to see where we get next. Might have to steal my wife's upgrade and snag me a catwalk!

The FM tuner's comeback is exciting! Does anyone think they could make it available via general speaker play?

dwigfor says:

Since it uses headphones as an antenna, I'm not sure how it would be possible.

Here here! The UI design is what caught my attention and made me switch from iOS to WP. My first was the Lumia 900 last April. I became one of the 7.x bitter buyers, but upgraded to the 920 through my second line. I will most definitely upgrade to the 41mp device coming out later this year. I love being a part of the third way!

WP95 says:

i remember when i got my first smartphone the HTC Trophy and i remember hearing how bad the app selection was and i was able to deal with it. and to this day im repping my 8x and im happy i stuck with WP all this time and i know this is corny to say but im glad i expierenced us coming from the bottom and now rising up to be an amazing platform!

JPDVM2014 says:

I feel the same way. I started with a trophy, and now have a 900. It's nice to have an underdog Os that is actually gaining market share. It's a good change of pace considering I came from webOS. (I'm still holding out hope for webOS :-))

MonteJ says:

Love my Lumia 920 and Surface Pro. Go Microsoft!

MrVol84 says:

I'm happy to say that I've been here since day 1. Its been a great journey, and I'm sure it will continue to be.

winphonehub says:

You spelt tumblr wrong.. instead of tumblr you said tumbr

jm5001 says:

That Nokia phone with the screen full of tiles looks absolutely heavenly.

You are a fan of Tron Legacy music too (Daft Punk)? :D

dwigfor says:

I'm waiting for apps from Adobe and Autodesk.  The only app I miss from Android is Autodesk Sketchbook (my 1 and only purchase).
I wish there was more unification between the apps on Windows Phone and Windows 8.  Rhapsody app for WP8, but not for Win8??!? 
I'm also surprised that Microsoft doesn't have a Remote Desktop app for WP8.  I thought that would have been included....
I REALLY REALLY wish Microsoft would fix the pen pressure on the Surface Pro, so it could crush iPad amongst the art community.  So many people have been waiting for a "portable" Cintiq; now they just laugh at Microsoft for failing so greatly.  There's so much potential.  Didn't they even specifically mention being able to run Photoshop on the tablet with the pen in their marketing materials?  Woops, we forgot to mention there's no pen pressure........
After leaving HTC/Android, I've been really impressed by Nokia.  They seem to care about their customers. 
I've also had coworkers impressed by my Red Lumia 920.  They love the looks of it, but are stuck in their mac worlds...  Amongst 50 or so artists, I'm the only Windows desktop user.... 
 

Devamps says:

Doing three months that bought a 920 here in Brazil and I am very pleased with his performance, never had any problem since the original firmware.

Andr3sfc says:

Hey, a fellow Brazilian.
I got a 820 about a month and a half ago, and I'm also very pleased with it — both hardware and OS.

FabricioCool says:

Its been a month since a bought my 620 in Brazil. Bought a black one and recently a white cover that gave it a new modern look. Like so much the WP8 and Lumia that i bought a white 920,it´s to arrive in this week. Had WP 7.5/7.8 experience with Omnia 7, W and with Lumia 800. It already was a great experience but now with WP8 and dual core things seems more polished and fast, hopefully Microsoft will do the same work as it years on PC plataform and for sure we will have one of the best plataforms.

binthham says:

I saw Iron Man 3 this weekend and they played the Lumia wedding ad before the movie. They also showed a vignette of the making of the ad. Glad to see a serious effort to finally get people's attention!

AskaLangly says:

OS updates and Verizon don't mix well.

uopjo6 says:

I heard iOS7 is taking cues from WP

neo158 says:

From what I've heard the only change will be remove the skeuomorphic design, gloss and shine from parts of the OS but taking direct cues from Windows Phone, not likely.

Jazmac says:

Nokia and Windows Phone.  Looks, style and brains. Love the hell out of this Lumia 920. Can't wait to see what happens next.

Kellix says:

All I can say is HELL yes and Nokia and MS is coming back. :):):)  Tired of hearing the Apple and Droid fanboys knocking Microsoft and even nicer when you don't even know people and they have a windows phone. :) And my dumb boss saying he will pay for 150 more for a apple or 100 more for a droid, even though the verizon sales guy was like your a idiot not to take this deal their great phones. I'm going to love it when he looks like the idiot he is.

Great... does this mean TWC TV will finally make a app? Also why is HBOGO app only in Romania still?

TESTAMENTU says:

"in conjunction with Nokia and HTC"............. NO... Just Nokia. It dominates 80 percent of the WP market and is the only one that actually cares about the success of the OS.

thirdday2002 says:

I'm just loving the fact that the Star Trek app made it into the picture at the top of the article!

lovebill says:

Good article but its wishful thinking in a way. Its still no instagram, no party for many people. And too few unity (ports) games. And no exclusive AAA Microsoft games (Halo, AoE). And 920 is great but still fat (800 had better design).  Vine and Google Now wouldn't hurt either. 

cam45fblax says:

My first smartphone was the LG Quantum running NoDo, WP deserves to take off and is truly unique, although part of me kinda feels sad the more mainstream we get the less hipster I get to feel bout my unique choice of phone OS, which just so happens to be the best ;-)

catalystgod says:

I think Microsoft went about the whole Windows Phone deployment the right way. They did not release a hodge podge of a 100 different varieties at once with shabby software to see if one of them would click. They only concentrated on the few devices in each market and they focussed immensely on building the right S/W foundation for the OS to work on multiple devices. They also did all this while building a UI that has an appeal completely different to what the other major players have to offer. I don't think some realize how hard this whole ordeal would've been, especially watching Google bask in its glory and Apple make so much money each quarter while they were loosing/bleeding badly.
 
I am glad they stayed the course regardless and have reached this point today. Being an android user for the past 4 years, I never understood the appeal of the S/W apart fomr the utility it offered. It aways missed the flair that WP offers. Its funny because that was the reason I also avoided Apple and jumped into the Android bandwagon only to realize its more of the same. The most painful part of the Android experience has been the update schedule. I remember when I used the Fascinate on Verizon and had to wait almost 8 months until a proper fix for the GPS bug was released. That was just the beginning. Today, even on the fastest of hardware, the Android experience is just so slow/unresponsive. That is when I decided to jump to a used HTC Trophy on E-Bay to give WP a change. I was in love immediately. Damn what every reviewer was saying and how they were singing praise for Android. To this day, I continue to use my Trophy with a cracked screen instead of my Samsung Fascinate. It just makes sense.
 
I have since purchased a HTC DNA for my wife and noticed that it continues the fragmented design of Android and even the Sense UI. It is definitely faster to use but it still strikes me as more of the same in a different body just designed to trick me. I cannot find the simplest of things sometimes because the icons I am used to seeing in my Fascinate are not the same in the DNA and so on and so forth. More hodge podge. I have been waiting for a long time for a viable WP alternative on Verizon and thank god the 928 is finally coming to fruition. As much as I love my trophy over the fascinate, I don't really fancy a cracked screen. Overall, I am happy Microsoft and Nokia have gone on to make history with WP.
 
I also thinkin every WP released in the US market had built up to this moment. It was a slow and gradual improvement and the 920 definitely is where WP started ousting its competitors in performance, quality and style. I just wish I was on ATT at this moment since they seem to be the only network that gives a damn about their customer base getting the widest variety and latest H/W. The LTE speeds my on wife's DNA are also not a very big improvement over the HSPA+ offered on ATT. I think its time I switched networks. Pretty sure that this is going to be my last renewal with Verizon. I actually moved to Verizon from ATT for the same reason, except it was because ATT at the time was lagging with their Android devices and had their heads stuck up Apple's behind. Looks like Verizon is now doing the same with Android and WP respectively.
 
Phew...finally finished writing everything that was going on in my head.

Xaphoon148 says:

Really hope that phone's not really for real, because it's really one really, really UGLY looking little thing with that BUMP on the back...
Really...

DJ Keens says:

My bud (and probably EVERY friend of mine) are religious iPhone users. Since I bought my Lumia and he sees how slick and easy to use the OS is, my bud now has a yellow 920 arriving tomorrow. Never thought I'd see the day but for some reason I'm excited for him! I was a bit concerned about apps that he may be looking for (already warned him about Instagram) but after today, I'm really happy for him. With Waze going into beta soon (and Nokia Here already available), I really see no reason for anyone to stay on the iPhone train. I gave up IOS and haven't looked back. :D

ali raza4 says:

how update my windows phone lg c900 quantum my phone window 7.5 and iam trrying to update 7.8 an 8.00 plz tell me how is it ?

HotJava says:

A very inspiring post. Way to rally the windows phone troops. Very crackberry kevin-ish

treetownal says:

Very encouraging.
 
Now if they would fix the Other problem, I could purge 8 GB of nothing and install some of the new apps and games. 

I've dabbled with the OS before on a girlfriend's phone, but I don't think I could switch to the platform myself (from Android) until I get all my banking and insurance apps (Citibank, Bethpage Credit Union, Sallie Mae, Geico).  
No, via the web browser won't do, not the same experience.

ibbyj says:

This photo of the Ativ makes me want one.  
 
Great shot!

Beshoy Hanna says:

I remember saying here on WPCentral Apollo was when WP would take off. Glad to see I was partially right! 

its_wasims says:

Boooom.....SMOKED BY WINDOWS PHONE.....

michaeloox says:

What a rosy article for such a mediocre IOS. I paid over half a grand for my Samsung Ativ and have been disappointed with WP8 from day one. I've had the random reboots, email freeze ups, file duplication issues (forced me to do a reset -i.e. start from scratch) terrible bugs in Viber and Skype, unreliable video playback.....and there are many basics which are simply missing. No screen rotation lock. 3 levels of screen brightness. A menu that seems to be completely random  (alphabetical order is just too mainstream) no task manager, no proper notifications centre. Users are screaming out for fixes which just don't come...pleading for basic features that should be par for the course. I disagree with Apple's controlling habitat and stubborn ongoing development of new cables/connectors & sim sizes. I don't trust the giant military contractor (Google)... but I'm going to have to pick one of them as I can no longer deal with wp8's rubbish. I feel sorry for Nokia.